CHAPTER 7 BANKRUPTCY
Vegas Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Lawyers
Our Vegas Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Lawyers can assist you with getting rid of all of your unsecured debts. We offer $0 Down Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy for Nevada. Please know, declaring bankruptcy in Vegas is not a financial death sentence. It is a means to the goal of a fresh financial start.
There is life after filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy. For example, declaring bankruptcy doesn’t mean the end of your life. Plus, the assistance of our Nevada Debt Relief Lawyer the right lawyer is a beneficial means to resolving debt. Declaring bankruptcy eliminates stress, stops creditor harassment, and allows individuals, couples, and businesses a change at a “Fresh Start”.
CHAPTER 7 BANKRUPTCY FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is a form of debt relief that allows qualifying individuals (and businesses) to discharge their debts but keep their assets. A judge will preside over your case, but it will also be managed by a trustee. The trustee analyzes your petition and financial documents, and may require you to surrender wages and assets if you don’t comply with Chapter 7 guidelines.
To file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, you will need to gather all of your financial documents, draft your petition, take 2 credit counseling courses, comply with all of your trustee’s requests, and attend your 341 Meeting of Creditors. You can file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy with or without an attorney, but stakes are typically high in a Bankruptcy and the success rate is much higher for those who file with an attorney. A typical Chapter 7 Bankruptcy lasts 3-5 months.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is a great option for those who don’t make enough money to pay off their debts. Not only are your debts discharged, meaning you are no longer liable for them, but you will be protected by the Automatic Stay while your case is pending.
The Automatic Stay bars your lenders from collecting on your debts. Once a creditor has secured a judgment, they can garnish your wages or bank account. The wage garnishment will automatically take 25% out of your paycheck. The Automatic Stay lasts until your case is discharged, usually 3-5 months, or dismissed.
The first way to qualify for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is through your income. If you make less than the median amount in your state, you can file Chapter 7. In Nevada, the median income for a one-person household is $41,054. That number increases to $55,349 to include both a spouse and one minor dependent, or no spouse and two minor dependents. This number increases for each additional family member.
If you make more than the median for your family size, you will need to use the means test to qualify for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. The means test compares your average income over the last six months with your mandatory payments. If the court determines that you don’t have enough disposable income to pay your debts, you will be eligible for Chapter 7. You should consult with an attorney if you wish to qualify for Chapter 7 through the means test.
For those who don’t qualify for Chapter 7 through either method, Chapter 13 may still be an option. See our other articles or consult an attorney to learn more about Chapter 13.
Debts are typically secured if they are associated with a piece of property that is still in your possession. Examples include homes with a mortgage, and financed vehicles. These debts won’t be dischargeable in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, but you may have the option to surrender the asset if the payments are too high for your budget.
Common examples of unsecured debts are credit cards, medical bills, personal and registration loans, and bills from past home rentals. These can all be discharged in a Chapter 7. Some debts are unsecured, but have priority status and won’t be discharged in a Chapter 7. These include student loans, child support, spousal support, and some taxes. Your back taxes may be eligible for discharge if they have been due for 3 years, filed for 2, assessed for 240 days, and were filed without fraud. Contact an attorney if you would like to discharge your back taxes in a bankruptcy.
In most Chapter 7 cases, if you lease your vehicle, you will have the choice between assuming and rejecting your lease. Assuming the lease means you will continue payment as usual and keep the vehicle for the remainder of the lease period. If you reject the lease, you can surrender the vehicle and discharge any associated fees from your contract. If you are behind on your payments, the Automatic Stay will prevent repossession of your vehicle. However, the lender may petition the court to lift the stay for the purposes of repossessing the vehicle. Your vehicle will also be repossessed if you don’t catch up with lease payments before the stay is lifted.
Emergency Bankruptcy Filing is also commonly referred to as Skeleton Petition Filing. This method of filing Bankruptcy requires a fraction of the documentation to file a full petition. It is typically used when a garnishment or repossession is looming. If you are filing with an attorney, you will only need to fill out their client questionnaire, take your credit counseling class, and supply your driver’s license, social security card, and paystubs to draft your skeleton petition. You will have two weeks to gather the rest of your documents and submit your complete petition.
This is a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy filed with the main intention of discharging medical debts. Medical debts are the number one cause of bankruptcy in the United States. Even with insurance, many medical procedures cost thousands of dollars. Combine this with time away from work, using credit cards to get by while off work, and other related expenses, the sick and injured are often on a fast-track to bankruptcy. Medical bills are often not on your credit report, so be sure to save your doctors’ bills to provide to your attorney if you are considering bankruptcy.
Over 98% of Chapter 7 bankruptcies that are filed correctly will be discharged. However, one in three people who file Chapter 7 without an attorney will be unsuccessful, and their case will be dismissed. The success rate for represented filers is over 96%.
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PROTECTING YOUR ASSETS IN A CHAPTER 7 BANKRUPTCY
LIFE AFTER FILING CHAPTER 7 BANKRUPTCY
Your life will likely be far less stressful after you file bankruptcy. From the moment you retain a bankruptcy attorney (and inform your creditors of this), your creditors will no longer be able to harass you with annoying and threatening calls. You will have more disposable income once your wages aren’t being garnished and you aren’t struggling with debt payments.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy doesn’t come without its disadvantages. A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy will remain on your credit for 10 years from the filing date. You will be able to get a home loan after 2 years. If you have fair or high credit, you may see a downtick in your credit score upon filing. You will see little to none of this effect if you have a lower score.
You will be able to finance a new vehicle after your case is filed. You will (most likely) receive offers for new credit cards after your case is discharged. Both are great ways to build your credit after a bankruptcy, but be wary of high interest rates and payments you can’t afford. Our firm offers post-filing payment plans which credit report, further boosting your score post-bankruptcy.